Covid-19: Paramilitary doctors arrive in Delhi

Covid-19: Paramilitary doctors arrive in Delhi, marriage guests restricted to 50

Ten multi-disciplinary teams have started visiting over 100 private hospitals in Delhi to assess bed utilisation

A medical worker wearing protective gear collects a nasal swab sample from a man for a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) for the Covid-19 coronavirus as Noida authorities started conducting random coronavirus testing on commuters arriving from Delhi at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh state border in Noida. Credit: AFP

Augmenting Covid-19 care facilities in the national capital where there is a surge in cases, 45 doctors and 160 paramedics from the paramilitary forces arrived in the city while the Arvind Kejriwal government got the nod to restrict the number of guests at marriage functions to 50.

Kejriwal has also called an all-party meeting on Thursday to discuss Covid-19 situation in the capital even as the Chief Minister is pushing for permission from the Centre to shut down markets that may emerge as hotspots.

A Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spokesperson on Wednesday said Railways is also making available coaches with 800 beds at a station here to be used as health and isolation centres.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is adding 250 ICU beds to the existing 250 in addition to creating 35 BIPAP beds in the next 3-4 days at its Covid-19 hospital near the Delhi airport, the spokesperson said.

These are part of the 12 decisions taken during a review meeting chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday with Kejriwal and others.

Ten multi-disciplinary teams have started visiting over 100 private hospitals in Delhi to assess bed utilisation and testing capacity and to identify extra ICU beds.

The spokesperson also said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Delhi government are working together to enhance RT-PCR testing capacity to 60,000 tests by November-end. Testing capacity has already been enhanced by 10,000 tests per day on November 17, the spokesperson said.

The Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has dispatched 250 ventilators from Bengaluru and these are expected to reach Delhi by the end of the week.

On his part, Kejriwal said the Delhi government will add 663 ICU beds in hospitals run by the state administration in view of the rising cases. "We had a meeting with doctors at GTB Hospital and they have agreed to add 238 ICU beds in the next two days. In all, 663 ICU beds shall be added in various Delhi hospitals in the next few days," he said.

Even as cases were on the rise, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the Delhi government has no plan to impose a lockdown but may press some restrictions in market areas for some days to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"We have no intention of a lockdown. Let me clarify, we have made a general proposal to the Centre with regard to certain regulations like shutdown for some days in the markets where Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and social distancing violations pose a threat of rapid infection," Sisodia said.

On Wednesday, Delhi government got the nod from Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to restrict the number of guests for marriage to 50 from the existing limit of 200.

The Kejriwal government has also sent its proposal to allow the state administration to shut down certain markets but a call is yet to be taken by the Centre. Such decisions would need the permission of the Centre, which disallows states announcing lockdown of non-containment zones on its own.